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Why do Koreans love soju?

The History of Soju in Korea

Soju is the most popular alcoholic beverage in South Korea, and has been for centuries. The drink is believed to have originated in Persia, and was introduced to Korea during the Mongol Invasions of the 13th century. At that time, it was made from rice or other grains, and was considered a luxury item reserved for the wealthy. Over time, however, soju became more widely available and affordable, and its popularity continued to grow.

The Cultural Significance of Soju

Soju has become more than just a popular drink in Korea; it is now an integral part of the culture. Koreans often drink soju as a way to socialize and bond with friends and colleagues. It is also a common part of celebrations, such as weddings and birthdays, and is frequently consumed during traditional Korean meals.

The Taste of Soju

One reason soju is so beloved in Korea is its mild flavor. Unlike other types of alcohol, which can be quite strong and overpowering, soju has a smooth, clean taste that is easy to drink. It is also highly versatile, and can be mixed with a variety of other drinks to create new flavor combinations.

The Low Alcohol Content of Soju

Another reason for soju’s enduring popularity is its low alcohol content. Most brands contain only around 20% alcohol by volume (ABV), compared to 40% ABV or more for many types of liquor. This makes it a more approachable option for those who are not accustomed to drinking or who want to avoid getting too drunk too quickly.

The Affordability of Soju

Soju is also relatively cheap compared to other types of alcohol. A bottle of soju can be purchased for as little as $1, making it an accessible option for people of all income levels. This affordability has helped to make soju a ubiquitous part of Korean culture.

The Variety of Soju Brands and Flavors

There are many different brands and flavors of soju available in Korea, each with its own unique taste and character. Some are made with rice, while others use sweet potatoes or other grains. Some are flavored with fruit or other natural ingredients, while others are unflavored. This variety allows drinkers to choose a soju that suits their personal preferences.

The Role of Soju in Korean Nightlife

Soju is often consumed in large quantities during nights out at bars and clubs in Korea. This is partly due to its low price and mild flavor, which make it easy to drink in large amounts. However, excessive drinking of soju can lead to health problems and social issues, and there have been efforts in recent years to curb excessive drinking in Korean society.

The Health Benefits (and Risks) of Soju

While excessive drinking of any kind can be harmful to health, moderate consumption of soju has been linked to some health benefits. For example, studies have shown that drinking small amounts of soju may help to improve circulation and reduce the risk of certain diseases. However, drinking too much soju can lead to liver damage and other health problems.

Soju in Popular Culture

Soju has also become a fixture in Korean popular culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and music videos. It is often portrayed as a fun, lighthearted drink that brings people together. This portrayal has helped to reinforce the cultural significance of soju in Korea.

The Globalization of Soju

In recent years, soju has become increasingly popular outside of Korea, particularly in other parts of Asia. Some Korean brands have even begun to export their products to other countries, expanding the reach of this beloved drink.

The Future of Soju in Korea

While soju remains a beloved part of Korean culture, there are concerns about the negative effects of excessive drinking. As a result, some companies have begun to produce lower-alcohol versions of soju, and there have been efforts to promote responsible drinking habits. However, it seems likely that soju will remain an important part of Korean culture for years to come.


Soju is more than just a popular drink in Korea; it is an integral part of the country’s culture and history. Its mild flavor, low alcohol content, affordability, and versatility have made it a beloved beverage for centuries. While there are concerns about excessive drinking, soju will likely continue to be an important part of Korean society and culture.

Do Koreans really like soju?

Soju is the most popular alcoholic beverage in South Korea, with the average person over the age of 20 consuming 1.5 bottles per week.

Why do Koreans hit the soju bottle?

Koreaboo reports that shaking a bottle before opening it started because low-quality corks were used in the past instead of the metal caps that are commonly used now. People used to shake the bottle so that small particles of cork would float to the top. To remove these particles, they would tap the neck of the bottle.

What is Korea’s favorite alcohol?

The most popular alcoholic drink in Korea is Soju, which is a clear and slightly sweet distilled spirit. It is often referred to as “the common people’s drink” and “a friend of life.” Soju is made from grains like rice, barley, and wheat, or starches such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, and tapioca.

What is the importance of soju in Korean culture?

Importance of Soju in Korean Culture To honor ancestors and to spread cheer to friends and neighbors on special occasions, South Koreans have a long practice of drinking alcohol. Known as the “National Drink,” soju is the most popular alcoholic beverage in South Korea.Sep 7, 2022

Can 1 bottle of soju get you drunk?

To become drunk from soju, one would need to consume between five to seven standard drinks. Each glass of soju is usually 50ml, which means that one bottle can provide approximately seven shots. On average, consuming one bottle of soju can result in getting drunk, which typically requires drinking between five to seven shots of soju.

Why do Koreans turn sideways when drinking soju?

In Korean culture, it is considered respectful to turn one’s head while taking a sip of a drink when drinking with someone who is older or of a higher social status, rather than facing them directly.

One interesting aspect of soju is its connection to politics in Korea. In the past, many politicians used to drink soju as a way to bond with voters and constituents. This practice has become less common in recent years, but soju remains a symbol of camaraderie and community in Korean politics.

Another factor that has contributed to the popularity of soju is its association with traditional Korean culture. Many Koreans see soju as an important part of their heritage and take pride in its history and production methods. Some even view it as a symbol of national identity and cultural pride.

Despite its long history, soju continues to evolve and adapt to changing tastes and preferences. In recent years, there has been a trend towards more premium and artisanal varieties of soju, made with high-quality ingredients and traditional production methods. These new products appeal to a younger generation of drinkers who are looking for more sophisticated and nuanced flavors in their alcoholic beverages.

Overall, soju is a fascinating and complex beverage that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Korea. Its popularity shows no signs of waning, and it will likely continue to be a beloved part of Korean society for generations to come.

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